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Employee Rights Blog

What is your Retaliation Claim Worth?

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Feb 01, 2021 | 9 Comments


Verdicts from various California Courts, and settlements between the employee and employer, illustrate the risk of retaliation liability and retaliation claims that arises in the wake of employee complaints about mistreatment.

Even in cases where employers prove that a discrimination, harassment or other employment claim lacks merit, the employers may still be found liable because the complainant suffered adverse employment consequences after complaining.

A review of recent jury verdicts and settlements from workplace retaliation cases clearly demonstrate that an employee who files a complaint in good faith (even if it turns out to be unfounded) is protected from retaliation.

Sample Retaliation Verdicts

Jury verdict of $4.6M against a real estate firm for firing its general manager in a California facility after she reported break and overtime violations.

Jury awards $800,000 plus attorney fees to a correctional officer claimed to have been discriminated against and harassed because of her sexual orientation and disability. She also alleged that her supervisors retaliated against her for complaining about their actions. The jury decided that the supervisors had not engaged in unlawful harassment or discrimination, but awarded the officer $800,000 on the retaliation claim for emotional distress damages.

Jury verdict of over $800,000 awarded to two sales persons who alleged that they had complained to their employer about various wage and hour practices, and were terminated as a result. They recovered a combined verdict of over $800,000.

$1.6M verdict in favor of an employee who complained of inappropriate behavior by his supervisor regarding the treatment of women, including being induced to attend strip bars and being subjected to inappropriate sexual comments about female employees. Plaintiff complained to upper management, and shortly thereafter was denied a promotion and ultimately terminated.

Sample Retaliation Settlements

$600,000 settlement for a race and national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation lawsuit involving one of the company's top performers who was terminated for “poor performance” after reporting discrimination and harassment.

$500,000 settlement for wrongful discharge and retaliation of a male energy company employee. The male employee protested the sexual harassment of his female co-workers by his supervisors. The male employee was reinstated to his job in addition to receiving the financial award.

Nearly $1M settlement against a local Sheriff's Department for violating an employee's freedom of speech rights and retaliating against him for his support of an upcoming Sheriff's election candidate.

$587,500 settlement in a medical leave, disability and retaliation claim. An employee who was injured at work required a medical leave and temporary light duty reassignment during recovery. The employer failed to provide light duty, refused to permit the employee to take medical leave and retaliated against the employee for filing a workers' compensation claim by terminating employment.

Racial discrimination lawsuit settlements differ on a case by case basis. Victims are encouraged to take advantage of a free case evaluation from an experienced Kingsley and Kingsley employment lawyer.

Laws Protecting Employees From Retaliation

All employment laws prohibit employers from taking adverse employment action against employees for engaging in protected activity.

Protected activity includes complaining about or opposing practices forbidden by the statutes and participating in investigations of prohibited conduct.

Adverse employment action includes termination, failure to promote, punitive transfers and other actions that have a material impact on the terms and conditions of employment.

While the sample verdicts and settlements above may not represent typical outcomes, only an experienced employment lawyer can appropriately evaluate your case.

Need Help?

The retaliation attorneys at Kingsley and Kingsley recover compensation for economic loss, punitive damages, and attorneys fees arising from illegal, harmful actions taken by employers. Their employment law firm has been fighting, and winning, for workers across the state of California since 1981.

Give them a call at (888) 500-8469 today to speak with one of their award-winning legal professionals about your situation. The consultation is free and you won't ever pay unless you hire and your case is won. Without a licensed legal professional's evaluation of your situation, you'll never really know whether or not your rights were violated. Give them a call and get the help you need today.


About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, the firm's lawyer and co-founder, Eric B. Kingsley, has litigated complex cases and written numerous appeals in state and federal courts on behalf of the California law firm Kingsley & Kingsley, including More than 150 collective actions. Mr. Kingsley focuses his practice ...


Nancy Villalta Reply

Posted Jul 16, 2019 at 04:41:05

In June 12th I file a successful sexual harassment claim after that I’ve been subject of work harassment, demoted position , reduce salary, change schedule, emotional distress, etc.

Eric Kingsley Reply

Posted Jul 30, 2019 at 15:21:42

Hi Nancy. I highly suggest speaking with an employment attorney you feel comfortable with. Contact us anytime and we would be happy to provide you with a free case evaluation.

Can’t publicly Reply

Posted Nov 06, 2019 at 11:00:29

My case is very unique. I have filed with EEOC a harrassment sexua harrassment and retaliation charge. Now I will need an attorney as I am now going to report a mass amount of company fraud in Texas. Is this considered a Whistleblower?

James Piatt Reply

Posted Nov 24, 2019 at 10:25:59

I need help

Eric Kingsley Reply

Posted Nov 26, 2019 at 17:06:38

Hi. It could be, but it is important not to share detailed information about your situation online. If you’d like a free case evaluation, just open our live chat, give us a call, or use our contact form and we’ll do our best to help you out. The consultation is free.

Eric Kingsley Reply

Posted Dec 03, 2019 at 09:27:11

Hi James. To obtain a free consultation with one of our legal professionals, just fill out our form or use our live chat feature. We’d be happy to help.

Justin Greathouse Reply

Posted Jul 06, 2020 at 14:40:56

I have a retaliation and discrimination case with my employer. My case includes hostile comments from my manager to myself, and a harassment report i made against a team lead…all if which leading up to my termination.

stacey hatzikostas Reply

Posted Aug 26, 2020 at 10:31:34

i was laid off without placement after i was a witness to a illegal racial discrimination act in my department. have been there 6 years without 1 disciplinary. my position was eliminated after that

Crystal Osaze Reply

Posted Dec 18, 2020 at 11:15:51

Need to discuss my concerns of retaliation at the work place.

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